PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili said he is “extremely concerned” over attack on former state minister and one of the leaders of opposition Free Democrats party, Alexi Petriashvili, who was shot and wounded in Tbilisi early on Friday afternoon.
“I spoke with the Interior Minister in order to have a very strict reaction on this outrageous fact,” the PM said in a written statement. “The law enforcement agencies are applying all the necessary measures in order to investigate the case, to arrest perpetrators and to bring them to justice in the shortest period of time.”
“I am extremely concerned over this fact; I stress once again that crime will not be left unpunished in our country,” he said.
Petriashvili has three gunshot wounds – two in his lower limbs and one in his back, according to a senior official at the hospital in Tbilisi, where Petriashvili is currently undergoing treatment.
Petriashvili, who served as the state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration in 2012-2014, also has head injury, apparently inflicted by “a blunt object,” the official said.
Petriashvili’s injuries are not life-threatening, deputy healthcare minister Zaza Sopromadze told journalists outside the hospital.
The Interior Ministry, which was the first to report about the attack, said in a statement that Petriashvili was beaten and shot at by unknown perpetrators when he was visiting a grave of his late friend at Saburtalo cemetery in the capital city.
Leaders of the Free Democrats party, who have condemned the attack on opposition politician as alarming, have called on the authorities to investigate the case as soon as possible; they avoid speculating on possible motives of the attack.
Irakli Alasania, who chairs FD party, said it was extremely alarming when opposition politician becomes a victim of such attack. “I hope the law enforcement agencies will treat the case seriously… and perpetrators in this murder attempt will be brought to justice,” he said.
The Interior Ministry said that the investigation is ongoing under the article 117 of the criminal code, involving intentional infliction of grave injury.
MP Sergo Ratiani, secretary general of opposition UNM party, said the Georgian Dream ruling coalition “created environment in which attacks on opposition politicians and opponents are encouraged.”